The AzteQ Industrial stands out from most other 3D printers on the market in both appearance and operation. With its heated chamber, this Delta machine is a cut above anything else in its price range. Granted, the price is still significantly higher than most desktop printers. However, with a build area that dwarfs most others, comprehensive networking capabilities, and vast material compatibility, there's little to fault.
Large and beautiful design
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When I reviewed the Trilab DeltiQ 2 a couple of years ago, it was one of the best 3D printers I had ever tested. Moving forward, the AzteQ Industrial has been on the market for a while and is the larger, more powerful sibling, specifically aimed at business and industrial use rather than domestic.
Upon the printer's arrival, the full scale of this machine becomes apparent. While many larger printers may match its footprint, few, if any, come close to its height. This stature is necessary to accommodate the 300 x 300 x 400mm build area, which is larger than even the biggest of the large-scale printers I've reviewed in recent years.
But that's not all. Size isn't the only major selling point justifying the $6,500/£6,500 price tag. Unlike the neat desktop DeltiQ, the AzteQ Industrial is fully enclosed with a heated inner chamber, greatly expanding its material compatibility.
As with their other printers, it comes with a checklist of desirable features. It is, of course, Mosaic compatible and relies on that tried-and-tested system for multi-filament compatibility. There are also quick-change tool heads, enabling you to switch between the standard head for ASA and PLA and the specialist head for metal and carbon-filled materials.
There's really little that doesn't impress once the machine is unpacked. While it breaks from the standard 3D printer design, everything about the AzteQ Industrial is tailored towards professional business and design use. However, one question remains: is its size enough to justify the significant price tag?
TriLab AzteQ Industrial: Design
Following a Delta design style rather than the more common Cartesian or emerging CORE XY, the AzteQ Industrial stands out even before you consider the uniqueness of the Delta design. The three arms with the head suspended beneath look otherworldly, and while with most other printers, you can kind of understand how they work, the Delta design is baffling and slightly hypnotic once in action.
Design aside, the Delta mechanics have many advantages over more common 3D printer designs. The first is that they usually take up a far smaller footprint, with no need for a build plate that moves back and forth during the printing process. Then there's the fact that the print stays static, with the build plate fixed and only the print head moving through the three axes. This means that far more intricate prints can be developed, as there's generally less vibration.
Then there's the speed. Or at least, there was the speed - until CORE XY machines started to appear. Traditionally, Delta machines could be cranked up to print speeds that few standard printers could compete with.
The AzteQ Industrial incorporates and benefits from all the usual Delta features but adds to them with the fully enclosed and heated interior, which is capable of baking in prints. Then there's the wireless networking, superb browser-based print software, and the option to connect to the excellent Mosaic hardware for extended functionality.
TriLab AzteQ Industrial: Features
The TRILAB AzteQ Industrial utilizes high-precision delta kinematics, a design choice that lies at the heart of Trilab's product lines due to its speed, accuracy, and superior surface finish. The quality of print achievable from Delta-style machines made them a preferred choice in the past for professionals who prioritize dimensional accuracy and reliability above all else.
One feature that distinguishes the AzteQ Industrial from other 3D printers is its actively heated print chamber, which is capable of reaching temperatures up to 80°C. This feature isn't just about handling heat; it's crucial for enabling the use of advanced materials like ABS, ASA, PA, and PC, known for their durability and high-temperature resistance. A heated chamber aids in maintaining print quality, accuracy, and reliability, especially over the extended print times this printer facilitates.
A feature I appreciated in the DeltiQ, which is also present in the AzteQ Industrial, is the swappable magnetic printheads. These allow for swift transitions between different printing materials without lengthy recalibrations. The AzteQ automatically calibrates with each new printhead, streamlining the process.
Ease of use has been a consistent theme in Trilab printers, and the AzteQ Industrial is no exception. It features an intuitive DeltaControl interface, operated via a connected Android smartphone that is integrated into the system, essentially offering a familiar smartphone-style interface to interact with the printer.
Print Technology: Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM); Delta kinematics
Print Volume: AzteQ: Ø 300 mm (X, Y) × 400 mm (Z)
Printhead: Lightweight printhead with magnets for easy replacement, E3D V6 Volcano hotend, Dedicated printheads for individual materials
Extruder: E3D Titan extruder in Aztec Hub, Bowden filament guide to the printhead
Optional Extruder: Not specified
Print Platform: 8 mm thick aluminium heated bed, Integrated magnets for PrintPad sheets, Flexible & swappable PrintPads with rough PEI surface
Control Interface: Wireless 6.5" DeltaControl in-hand display, AzteQ Hub charging station on frame
Connectivity: 3× USB port for WiFi/LAN module, USB flash drive, TRILAB QuadPrint webcam, or extension
Print Monitoring: LED colour indicator on AzteQ Hub, Upper integrated camera, Adjustable LED lighting of printing space
Supported Input Formats: STL/gcode; Primarily supported PrusaSlicer, Kisslicer; Alternatively, gcode from Cura, Simplify3D
Dimensions and Weight: Printer: 59×52×105 cm (WxDxH) / 38 kg, Package: 60×60×120 cm (WxDxH) / 55 kg (w/o pallet)
Power: EU 220-240V; 10A; 50-60Hz, USA and Canada 100-120VAC; 15A; 50/60Hz
While print monitoring is becoming more common in consumer printers, it's essential for professional models. The AzteQ Industrial's integrated camera, complete with adjustable LED lighting, enables remote monitoring of prints. This is particularly useful for lengthy prints where on-site supervision is impractical.
In terms of build volume, the AzteQ Industrial is substantial, offering a build area of 30 cm in diameter and 40 cm in height. This size is ideal for catering to large-scale business and industrial printing needs, particularly for larger prototypes.
While many printers boast wide material compatibility, the AzteQ's enclosed design makes its compatibility with a broad range of materials far more practical. It can handle standard filaments like PLA and PETG, as well as more industrial options such as ABS and ASA. Throughout this test, I've chosen to use PLA, ASA, and PETG.
When it comes to features, the AzteQ Industrial checks almost every box one could wish for in a 3D printer. However, being a machine that costs significantly more than average, it needs to offer more. Beyond covering the majority of mechanical and technological aspects, it's the build quality that stands out as a key feature. Designed, made, and intended for the professional market, it has the build quality and design that underscore this fact.
TriLab AzteQ Industrial: Performance
When I looked at the DeltiQ, it stood among a small and select group of outstanding 3D printers, all unique or standout for their features or performance. However, the market has changed rapidly, driven forward by a handful of companies that have advanced 3D printing to a place we couldn't have imagined even a year ago.
Bambu Lab, Creality, and Trilab's parent company, Prusa, have all embraced and developed new machines with size, price, and performance that make it increasingly difficult for machines like the AzteQ to justify their price. For most consumers and small businesses, the likes of the Prusa MK4, with its quality and accuracy, are hard to beat. However, having tested the AzteQ for four months, I can safely say that there is still a significant place for these industrial machines.
Firstly, the Creality K1 Max is an excellent consumer machine but lacks the day-in, day-out reliability that you get from BamBu or Prusa. While I like the BamBu machines, it's like having a Tasmanian devil in the workshop; great for quick one-offs, but for larger prints, the extended period of noise and the pile of filament it tends to spill onto the floor are a bit much. Then there's the Prusa MK4, which, with its recent update, boosts speed when needed and finesses much of the process. But again, its open design makes it unsuitable for printing ABS and other fume-generating materials in the workshop.
With all three machines, reliability is excellent, but none can quite touch the day-to-day accuracy and reliability of the Trilab AzteQ. In this test, I utilized three materials: PLA, ASA, and PETG. With PLA and PETG, I printed with the door of the machine open and with ASA closed.
In all cases, the dimensional accuracy of the machine excelled, with prints being produced at a decent speed, if not quite at PRUSA MK4 speed, and with superb accuracy. While the top speeds didn't match those of the smaller machines, the print quality surpassed them. Even at the lowest quality and fastest print speeds, it was only the layering that became increasingly visible, not any print errors.
Going through the quality settings, the surface quality of the prints becomes almost completely smooth, and it isn't easy to discern the layering effect. A little finishing is needed, and the surface quality is absolutely smooth.
Although not designed for the purpose, printing characters and figures worked well. Throughout the test, I only utilized the out-of-the-box single filament, so traditional support structures were used rather than support material. Still, the accuracy of the supports generated enabled the production of detailed prints.
Used for the more focused purpose of prototypes, the printer performed admirably, enabling me to print out large format pieces that could be used to test out designs and concepts, from small leg holders to mid-sized brackets and robust background supports.
The heated chamber also seems to have done the job intended, as all prints retained accuracy from the base to the top. I'm unsure whether the temperature of the chamber helped anneal the prints to make them stronger, but the quality is certainly there.
After a few months of using the machine and comparing it to consumer printers, there's no doubt about the machine's absolute reliability and easy integration into a business workflow. One of the key features is the browser-based software that enables remote upload and monitoring of prints.
In real-world tests, I have no reservations about saying this is one of the best I have used, and thankfully, the results of the print test seem to back this up. It's also worth noting that the results from this test were carried out when the printer arrived and at the point of my recording these results. While there was a slight difference in some dimensional accuracy results, they are minor, showing that the performance of the machine has remained consistent throughout the test.
TriLab AzteQ Industrial: Print quality
Dimensional accuracy - score of 5
Target 25 = X: 24.82mm / 0.18mm Error | Y: 24.91mm / 0.09mm Error
Target 20 = X: 19.91mm / 0.09mm Error | Y: 19.95mm / 0.05mm Error
Target 15 = X: 14.97mm / 0.03mm Error | Y: 15.09mm / 0.09mm Error
Target 10 = X: 9.94mm / 0.06mm Error | Y: 10.06mm / 0.06mm Error
Target 5 = X: 4.91mm / 0.09mm Error | Y: 4.97mm / 0.03mm Error
X Error Average = 0.009
Y Error Average = 0.056
X&Y Error Average = 0.0605
Fine Flow Control - score of 2.5
Fine Negative Features - score of 5
Overhangs - score of 4
Bridging - score of 5
XY resonance - score of 2.5
Z-axis alignment - score of 2.5
Adding up the totals gives a final score of 26.5 out of 30.
TriLab AzteQ Industrial: Final verdict
The Trilab DeltiQ 2 was one of the most impressive machines I had looked at during its time, and now the AzteQ Industrial builds on that reputation. The two machines share many attributes, from the obvious design to the software and print quality, as well as premium pricing. However, there are differences, with the main ones being the increased build area and the heated chamber.
Really, when it comes to print quality and finish, the DeltiQ was good, and the AzteQ was equal. Placing the prints next to the latest batch of 3D printers, it isn't easy to assert that spending a huge amount more on a printer will get you a better quality print, at least in the short term.
Where the AzteQ Industrial finds its market is with businesses and industries that need a printer capable of large-format printing at 30cm by 40cm, and it does so with absolute reliability. There are, of course, other large format 3D printers that are cheaper, but their open design doesn't afford the same level of reliability offered here.
Then there's the fully enclosed environment, which not only enables proper printing with more advanced materials but also ensures accurate results from beginning to end. The workflow also plays a massive part in the professional market; being able to operate and monitor the printer remotely is a huge advantage and will be essential for many.
While other printers offer scale, workflow, accuracy, expandability, and more, there are few, if any, other options that provide everything in one package. When it comes to FFF technology, the Trilab AzteQ is difficult to beat for businesses as it's reliable, flexible, and an ideal solution for on-site, accurate production and prototyping.
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